Sean O’Malley on UFC talks: ‘I don’t assume I must be main-eventing for the cash I’m making proper now’

Sean O’Malley isn’t avoiding huge fights, however he’s not precisely pursuing them both — at the very least not till he indicators his subsequent UFC deal.

In an look Monday on The MMA Hour, O’Malley revealed that he’s concentrating on December 11 at UFC 269 for his subsequent bout. His opponent has but to be determined, however one title it received’t be is Frankie Edgar after a proposed matchup between the 2 failed to return collectively for November 6 at UFC 268. O’Malley has voiced his philosophy in current months concerning the relationship between his stage of opposition and his UFC pay, however mentioned that had nothing to do with the Edgar struggle finally going to Marlon Vera.

As a substitute, O’Malley mentioned a easy scheduling challenge was the wrongdoer — O’Malley’s head coach Tim Welch had an essential jiu-jitsu event already deliberate for the weekend of UFC 268, and “Sugar” didn’t need to struggle with out Welch in his nook.

“One-hundred p.c it was concerning the date,” O’Malley advised host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I liked the matchup. I might love [to fight Edgar], however I’m not nervous about it.

“On the finish of the day, the UFC picks. If they provide me Frankie, like I mentioned, I might like to struggle Frankie. Frankie is a top-10 man I feel and he’s a big-name man. I wouldn’t have mentioned no, ‘No, I don’t need to struggle him as a result of I need to receives a commission extra to struggle him.’ I mentioned, ‘Yeah, I’ll struggle Frankie on Dec. eleventh in Vegas.’ I might’ve liked for that struggle. That’s the struggle I hoped for and that’s the matchup I needed. I’ll additionally struggle Dominick Cruz on Dec. eleventh.”

At 26 years outdated, O’Malley finds himself in a singular place within the UFC’s pecking order. He’s 6-1 in his seven octagon appearances and has emerged as one of the vital thrilling fighters within the bantamweight division, with 5 post-fight bonuses already to his credit score. He’s additionally one of the vital in style names within the weight class with almost 2 million followers on Instagram alone.

He’s achieved all of it whereas being unranked on each the MMA Combating International Rankings and the UFC’s media-generated rankings. And with three fights nonetheless remaining on his present UFC deal, he’s not precisely in a rush to work his method up the ladder simply but.

“I really feel like I’m the principle draw at 135, I’m the most important title at 135,” O’Malley mentioned. “So there’s plenty of candy, candy, attention-grabbing fights at 135 that I might like to be part of. Clearly I need to receives a commission pretty, however yeah, I feel I’m not too far off from combating for the title, main-eventing pay-per-views. … It relies upon. I actually need to struggle these three fights out after which begin speaking huge names.

“I don’t assume I must be main-eventing for the cash I’m making proper now. I feel I must be getting paid extra, so we’ll see.”

O’Malley has been a budding star for the UFC since his explosive debut in Zuffa’s Contender Collection in 2017. His inventive and flashy placing type has already generated a powerful spotlight reel, and the UFC has been desperate to push him as a future headliner, giving O’Malley outstanding spots on a number of main pay-per-views over the previous few years.

However O’Malley has additionally drawn ire inside some circles for standing up for his perception that he’s value greater than the UFC is paying him to compete. He mentioned he not too long ago had a 30-minute minute dialog with UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby throughout UFC 265 struggle week in Houston to clear the air after a “miscommunication” over feedback he made on his podcast concerning the UFC’s want to e-book him towards Edgar at UFC 268.

O’Malley mentioned his relationship with the UFC is in a very good place now, however he’ll seemingly have two fights remaining on his contract on the finish of the 12 months, and he’s maintaining his choices open.

“I might most likely renegotiate a contract proper now with the UFC, however then I don’t get provides from different locations. And I’m not essentially seeking to go away, I’m not essentially seeking to go different locations, however we’ll see what different alternatives current themselves,” O’Malley mentioned.

“I actually do plan on staying with the UFC. I feel I belong within the UFC. But in addition if I’m going to get supplied twice as a lot cash to go do one thing else — I like boxing. We’ll see the place it goes. Like I mentioned, I like the UFC, they’ve been nothing however nice to me. And I feel after this contract is up, I don’t assume they’ll have a problem paying me what I feel I deserve. However we is perhaps on a very completely different mindset there. They may not assume I’m value half 1,000,000 or regardless of the quantity is. I’ve been on like 5 consecutive pay-per-views.”

O’Malley famous that he’s “positively made extra money” in 2021 by his exterior ventures similar to his reveals, sponsorships, and Twitch channel then he’s made within the UFC. He hopes to have the ability to change that quickly, however he understands the sport and the best way it’s performed. He’s maintaining perspective of the truth that the trail he needs to journey is a marathon, not a dash.

So if the UFC needs to present him huge fights proper now, certain, he’ll take them. However till the numbers on his contract change, he’s greater than content material taking the sluggish highway up the ranks.

“To be trustworthy, I really feel like I’m one of many greatest stars within the UFC, and should you see what I make, it doesn’t present that,” O’Malley mentioned. “But in addition I perceive that UFC provides me a platform to go on the market and be capable to promote merch, to have the ability to get all these sponsors. It provides me eyeballs for YouTube, Twitch, merch, all these different issues. So I’m not getting paid instantly from UFC rather a lot, however I get eyeballs. I’m getting cash exterior of it from the UFC. So it’s form of a hit-or-miss perspective factor. I strive to decide on to have a look at it like I’m not making the cash I consider I’m value, however I’m additionally earning money on the skin doing different issues from the UFC.

“So it relies upon the way you have a look at it, however yeah, I feel if I’m going to make the cash I’m making proper now, why go on the market and struggle the hardest guys on the earth? Why not struggle these three fights combating [against] not-the-toughest-guys on the earth, renegotiate my contract, after which make actual cash combating actual powerful guys? Kris Moutinho was a troublesome man. Eddie Wineland was a troublesome man. Thomas Almeida was a troublesome man. I don’t know. To me, it’s identical to I like combating and it’s a enterprise. I’m making an attempt to make the best choices.”

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